Monza Sbk wash-out; Race 1 cancelled, Race 2 cut short
07 May 2012
World Superbike races at the Monza racetrack were conditioned by the bad weather. The first race was cancelled due to rain and the second cut short when rain started to fall mid-race. Althea Racing's Carlos Checa and Davide Giugliano closed the second (8-lap) race in seventh and eighth position respectively.
Race 1 - In very changeable conditions (sunshine but a damp track) the Superbikes took to the grid, ready for Race 1. After only three laps it started to rain and the race was quickly stopped with a red flag. The riders returned to the grid half an hour later expecting a re-start but with a track that was dry in sections and completely wet in others, Race Direction took the decision to cancel the race for safety reasons.
Race 2 - unfortunately the second race was equally complicated. The start was delayed but then, seeing that the conditions had improved but only slightly, Race Direction decided to start the race anyway, giving each rider the choice as to whether to race or not. Almost all riders started without problems and after two laps Checa was in sixth place, followed by Giugliano in eighth. Finding a good rhythm, the Althea pair continued to lap in seventh (Carlos) and eighth (Davide) place, chasing the six four-cylinder machines ahead of them. On the eighth lap rain started to fall and a red flag once again put an end to proceedings. As only 50% of the planned laps were actually completed, riders were awarded half points.
At the end of the fourth event, Checa is still in second position in the general standings with 95.5 points right behind Biaggi with 97.5. Giugliano is still tenth with 41 points. Ducati leads the manufacturer's championship with 140.5 points to Aprilia's 108
"In Race 1 most of the riders stated that it was too dangerous to re-start in the mixed conditions that we had at that moment. While some parts of the track were drying, other sections were very wet and so riding with slicks would have been impossible, while it wasn't wet enough for the rain tyres. Then, when it started to rain hard, I was ready to race in ‘full wet' conditions but Race Direction decided to cancel it. I helped Biaggi back to the box when his bike stopped. We're rivals yes, but not enemies! I would have done the same for any rider who asked. Race 2 was brief but I'm pleased with the outcome as far as the points are concerned because we were able to limit the damage as we had hoped to.
"It's been a long day. The shortened second race went quite well for me in that I made quite a good start, started to gain confidence with the track and the mixed conditions and was able to stick with the group ahead of me. Of course I had hoped to do more here this weekend but the very changeable conditions didn't allow it. I agreed with Race Direction's decision, we had to at least try and race - we did that in race 2, at least until the heavy rain arrived. Anyway, we take some points for the championship and start to prepare for Donington."
Genesio Bevilacqua, General Manager of Althea Racing:
"It was a really strange day, conditioned by problems and indecision on the part of the organisers. I think that everyone involved took too long in their decision making and what resulted was one shortened race which was something or nothing really. Recent accidents have perhaps made the riders more wary in these kinds of conditions and I agree with them, though of course it doesn't make for great racing for the spectators.
Race 1 - CANCELLED.
Race 2 - 1. Sykes (Kawasaki); 2. Haslam (BMW); 3. Laverty (Aprilia)
Riders - 1. Biaggi (Aprilia) 97.5; 2. Checa (Ducati) 95.5; 3. Sykes (Kawasaki) 91.5; 4. Melandri (BMW) 72.5; 5. Rea (Honda) 70; 6. Haslam (BMW) 68; 7. Guintoli (Ducati) 66; 8. Laverty (Aprilia) 64; 9. Smrz (Ducati) 42.5; 10. Giugliano (Ducati) 41.
Manufacturers- Ducati 140.5; Aprilia 108; Kawasaki 97.5; BMW 96; Honda 74; Suzuki 20.5